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News and Announcements

  • Submitted on 23 November 2012

    November 24 is Small Business Saturday, a day set aside to support the small businesses that play a vital role in creating jobs and economic opportunities all across the country.

    Karen G. Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), released the following statement today encouraging people to support their communities by “shopping small” this holiday season:

    “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the fabric of our communities.  Over the last two decades, small and new businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., and today over half of all working Americans own or work for a small business.

  • Submitted on 23 November 2012

    Blank will advance initiatives to promote economic growth, trade and investment as a part of President Obama’s Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

    WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank will travel to South Africa and Kenya next week to advance key elements of the President’s “Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa,” that will promote economic growth, trade, and investment in the continent. As part of her trip, Acting Secretary Blank will officially launch the “Doing Business in Africa” campaign, an Administration initiative to help American businesses identify and seize opportunities that will further the United States’ commercial, trade, and investment relationship with Africa.

  • Submitted on 16 November 2012

    Trade Finance GuideThe U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s (ITA) released the third edition of its Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters today at the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB)’s 23rd Annual Global Conference.

    “Since the publication of its first edition in 2007, the Trade Finance Guide has been an invaluable self-learning tool to America’s small and medium-sized businesses,” said Francisco Sánchez, Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade. “This tool helps American businesses of all sizes and in all sectors overcome one of their major export challenges: how to get paid, thereby turning their export opportunities into actual sales.”

    This concise, easy to understand and use tool was created specifically for U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Written in plain and easy-to-understand language, with each chapter only two pages long, the Trade Finance Guide has been widely distributed as a self-learning tool to exporters, as a counseling tool to financial institution professionals, and as an education tool for college professors teaching international business. The third edition includes a new chapter on consignment and government-backed agricultural export financing.

  • Submitted on 13 November 2012

    The Department of Commerce is currently seeking applications for appointment of 25 members of the Manufacturing Council (Council) for a two-year term to begin in fall 2012. The purpose of the Council is to advise the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector and to provide regular communication between Government and the manufacturing sector. The Manufacturing and Services division of the International Trade Administration oversees the administration of the Council and collaborates with Congress and other stakeholders to increase the global competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

  • Submitted on 24 October 2012

    Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today applauded the announcement that the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will go into effect on October 31. The agreement will significantly increase the ability of American companies to export their products to one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies, while dramatically reducing the tariff rates across the range of U.S. industrial and agricultural goods.

  • Submitted on 01 October 2012

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Thank you, Director Hinson. It’s great to be here with top business leaders from the many American Indian and Alaska Native communities across our nation.  

    I’d like to briefly introduce Dee Alexander, my senior adviser for Native American Affairs. Dee is from the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes. She played a major role in American Indian and Alaska Native policy at the Census Bureau.  

    More recently, she developed the Commerce Department’s new tribal consultation policy – the result of President Obama’s order to all federal agencies to establish such a policy.

  • Submitted on 26 September 2012

    Departments of Commerce and Labor partner to help companies create jobs, invest in America

    The Obama administration today announced a $40 million multi-agency competition, the Make it in America Challenge, to accelerate the trend of insourcing, where companies are bringing jobs back and making additional investments here in America. The competition, which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), will build upon the administration’s bottom-up approach to strengthening the economy and creating jobs by partnering with state, regional, and local economies.

  • Submitted on 25 September 2012

    Agricultural, Energy, Transportation, and Mining Technologies

    The purpose of this trade mission is to deepen trade ties with South Africa and to explore export opportunities to Zambia. Apply Now, Space is LimitedThe Commerce Department will help U.S. firms find customers and business partners in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, and Ndola, and Lusaka, Zambia.

    Why South Africa and Zambia?

    South Africa is the most advanced, broad-based industry and productive economy in Africa. South Africa became the newest country to join the leading emerging market group, BRICS. In 2011, U.S. - South Africa trade increased 18% percent from its 2009 trade level.

    Zambia is gerographically well placed to become a regional hub as it shares it border with eight countries. Zambia was recently ranked one of the fastest growing economies in the world by The Economist Magazine. Zambia is emerging into a focus with a U.S.-Zambia trade increase of 83 percent in 2011 over its 2011 level.

    Which Sectors?

    • Electric Power and Energy Efficiency Technologies

    • Productivity Enhancing Agriculture Technologies and Equipment

    • Transportation Equipment and Intrastructure

    • Mining Equipment and Technology

  • Submitted on 19 September 2012

    The U.S. Small Business Administration and theU.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) are teaming together on a pilot program in eight states to broaden the impact of the agency’s programs among Hispanic entrepreneurs. 

    “An economy built to last includes boosting entrepreneurship opportunities in Hispanic American communities,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.  “The SBA is having a powerful impact in this sector, with a billion dollars in loans to Hispanic-owned businesses last year alone.  The pilot program we are announcing today will help us do better. 

  • Submitted on 31 August 2012

    Desert PlainThe U.S. Commerce Department today announced two national webinars to gather input and comment on a proposed policy, “Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy for the U.S. Department of Commerce,” establishing how Commerce consults with federally-recognized Indian tribes on policies that have tribal implications. These consultations promote Commerce’s mission by supporting strong and stable tribal economies able to participate in today’s national and global marketplace.

    The purpose of the policy is to reaffirm Commerce’s commitment to formalize a process that ensures accountable, meaningful and timely input from tribal officials in the development of Commerce policies that have tribal implications. The proposed policy was developed through numerous Commerce listening sessions with Tribes.

    As part of continued outreach efforts with Tribes, Commerce is conducting webinars to discuss the policy and gather input and comments from tribal leaders. The two webinars are scheduled on Wednesday, September 12 and Wednesday, September 19 from 3:00-4:00 pm EDT.

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